Santorum blasts Obama for 'coercion'
February 10th, 2012
11:41 AM ET
2 years ago

Santorum blasts Obama for 'coercion'

Washington (CNN) - Rick Santorum trained his fire on President Barack Obama Friday during his much-anticipated speech at CPAC, hitting the president over the recent controversy surrounding health insurance coverage for contraceptives.

"They believe rights come from government," he said, with his family on stage. "The most important one they've been able to shove down the throats of the American public is the right to health care."

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While the White House said Friday it would find an alternative to the rule requiring religious institutions to cover contraceptives, Santorum took issue with the original policy, saying the administration was trying to "force" insurance on something that only cost "a few dollars" and had "no economic need."

Santorum's remarks reflected a steady theme of opposition toward the new rule at the conference, as several speakers have railed against the policy.

"This is the kind of coercion we can expect," he said. "It's not about contraception. It's about government control of our lives and it's got to stop."

Following his three election victories this week and a strong fundraising boost, the Republican presidential candidate predicted the GOP would win the election by making "Barack Obama and his failed policies the issues of this race."

He also took the opportunity to take a swipe at rival candidate Mitt Romney and called the former governor's Massachusetts health care program the "stepchild" of Obama's sweeping health care reform.

Turning back to his criticism of Obama, Santorum blasted the administration's policies on energy and climate change, arguing that Obama was trying to "dictate what lights to turn on and what cars to drive."

"They scare you by intimidating you to trust them and give you power," he said.

Also see:

Santorum says opposition to contraception rule doesn't restrict women's rights


Romney meets privately with conservative leaders at CPAC

As Santorum and Romney battle, Paul slams both as liberal

Who's the biggest earmarker of them all?


Filed under: 2012 • CPAC 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (364 Responses)
  1. works4me

    And I thought I hated Newt...

    February 10, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  2. billy davis

    Another Republican attacks. They have offered nothing in contrast to anything the POTUS has done except to say NO, we disagree even when it's our own way of doing things. The GOP " We are for Wars, Unless Obama wins won then war is bad. The GOP We like Tax Savings, except when Obama is for it, then lower taxes are bad.

    February 10, 2012 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  3. works4me

    Do all of the GOP voters actually we don't already pay for unplanned pregnancy's, births and child support for life? This is a woman's choice... not a voters choice.

    February 10, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  4. Sonnie 2

    I supose if they were on the Government dole to help educate their children, Then they would pay for that in a tax. However they run mostly with out government dollars in their schools.

    February 10, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  5. works4me

    ooops... it should have read... actually believe

    February 10, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. MNTaxpayer

    He sure sounds like a nice guy. Not hatefull, not devisive. Not misleading or deceptive. He does not pander. Yes he's just the guy we need.

    February 10, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  7. AZ Woman

    @ Sonnie who says..."The true Christian loves all and will help all in need."

    Then why do all of the conservative Christians hate our President?

    February 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  8. Tony in Maine

    I wonder how Sanctus Santorum would feel about the role of the catholic Church in denying birth control to Massachusetts residents at least through the middle of the 20th century. The old saying on Beacon Hill was that if a bill didn't have the blessing of Lake St. (the archbishop's residence) it was dead.

    February 10, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  9. nintex

    And people actually believe this crap?

    February 10, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  10. CoJo

    how about we do it the way businesses are currently doing it. If you are currently unemployed, you do not need to send in your resume. Let's see Santorum was fired from Pennsylvania, thus he is unemployed. Gingrich resigned from speaker of the house, to my knowledge, he is currently unemployed (consulting/lobbying does not count).

    February 10, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Sonnie 2

    The bleeding heart member of the anti CHRIST move can rember one thing, The true Christian loves all and will help all in need. Can You Say That for you and your athiest buddies. I did not think so.
    ============================================

    I have known many "atheists" who are extremely intelligent, kind, loving, and great neighbors in time of need. I have known many so called "Christians" who are ignorant, foolish, nosey parkers who take pleasure in others misery. In the end, all will be judged equally.

    February 10, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  12. craig

    So, is Santorum stating that people DON'T have a right to health care? If so, I want to hear him say that...publicly, openly, and honestly. Let's hear it, Rick. Are you willing to stand up and say what you said? "People don't have a right to health care!" Either say it, or don't criticize the President.

    February 10, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  13. Rudy NYC

    Sonnie 2 wrote:

    obama care with all its work done behind closed doors against the majority of Americans is on sure sign of him being a dictator. This read the bill and you will find out whats in it is a stupid arrogant democrat, socialist move if I ever seen one.
    -----------
    In June 2009 the administration began talking about health care reform. Every leading Republican member of Congress had a sound bite on the evening news, declaring that they would not participate in the 'destruction of America" and such. The Republcians boycotted the committees working on it. When the bill was finally ready for a vote, a consevative member of the press asked Speaker Pelosi, "What is in the bill?"

    Repubublicans and conservative media had been whining about how Democrats worked behind closed doors, and they didn't know what was going on. Her sarcastic response was, "You have to pass it to find out what's in it."

    February 10, 2012 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  14. Regis990

    "They scare you by intimidating you to trust them and give you power," he said. I thought Ricky was talking about the President...not FOX news. Funny.

    February 10, 2012 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  15. Canadian Jim

    According to the GOP the only rights we have are God-given rights, but only from their version of God. And that version is nothing like the Jesus they pretend to know. No way they would nominate a long-haired, bearded, sandal-wearing, free-health-care-giving, loving thine enemies preaching, give all you have to the poor reforming Jew as their choice for President. Plus, they wouldn't believe his birth-certificate even if he had one!

    February 10, 2012 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. CoJo

    Santorum is only saying he doesn't want the feds to mandate (nor the states in Romney's case). So he is mandating that the states shall not mandate health care.

    February 10, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  17. Sy2502

    LOL at Santorum talking about government shoving its values down our throats... all while he tries to outlaw abortion and gay marriages... oh the irony!!!

    February 10, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  18. Ken

    If Santorum is so against forcing people to pay for other people's health insurance, why is it that I am forced to pay for his health insurance when I can't afford any for myself?

    February 10, 2012 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  19. DENNA

    @ JRuss – As has been said before birth control is free for both men and woman, just take a bit of self control and dignity but if you can't stop yourself from screwing anything the moves have at it. BUT I refuse to pay for your lack of respondsibility....that's the real question here isn't it........how can I get that for free?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I assume, according to your post, that you are celibate. If you are a man, I'll bet you aren't. You are seriously too full of yourself. Mind your own business.

    February 10, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. CoJo

    Both Santorum and Gingrich are pushing the health savings account. Now think about that for a moment. For people to "save" they need to make more than enough to pay for food, shelter, clothes. I'm not for a welfare country, but until the businesses hire and pay enough to live/prosper on, there will be NO SAVINGS (in the health care OR bank).

    February 10, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  21. Ron

    LOL. In the spotlight for less than a week and already can't keep his foot out of his mouth. These guys seem to think that being the "frontrunner" means it's time to say/do something really stupid. What a sad bunch of misfits these republican candidates are!

    February 10, 2012 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  22. Another Day In the Idiot Mines

    "It is about Government mandating what religion will do"

    CORRECTION: It is about Government requiring religions engaged in commercial activity to follow the same laws that every person or organization involved in commercial activities must follow. Why do your extreme rightwing religious nuts keep demanding special rights?

    February 10, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. Al

    Rick...ever hear of the BILL OF RIIGHTS? First ten admendments to the U.S. Constitution.

    February 10, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. CoJo

    Now I watch Gringrich's speech to CPAC. He had one suggestion... that suggestion was: if you want unemployment pay you need to also go through training to get your skills updated to that you can be employed. Unfortunately people did that with the green energy, most people who got retrained did not get jobs. Problem #2 is the country “may” have more updated skills/knowledge, but who’s gonna hire? Labor costs are still going to be higher than BRIC. So now we still have NO JOBS. I will not buy the issue about cutting corp. taxes will increase jobs. It ONLY adds to corp. coffers (to pay the top level management… they pat themselves on the back for tax cut savings)

    February 10, 2012 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  25. joshua

    another unfunded federal mandate not wanted by the vast majority of americans. stop the tyrant and vote obama out of office while voting is still legal.

    February 10, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
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